Self-Published Author Amanda Hocking Breaks Sales Record
Self-published author Amanda Hocking has joined the ranks of authors who've sold more than a million eBooks through Amazon.
The YA paranormal romance writer, who has more than a dozen eBooks available through the online distributor, joins writers like Stieg Larsson, Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, and Stephenie Meyer. But among those, she's in a very exclusive class: The only other self-published author to cross this mark was John Locke (this one, not this one).
I don't know a thing about Hocking's writing, but according to her Wikipedia page, the New York Times has spoken favorably about her work, calling it "part quirky girl-like-Hocking characters, part breakneck pacing, part Hollywood-style action and part bodice-ripping romance – they are literature as candy, a mash-up of creativity and commerce." So not Tolstoy, but fun.
And her work has won her some serious real-world success. She started publishing books through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing in 2010, and by March 2011 nabbed a $2 million, four-book contract with St. Martin's Press--which also bought the rights to her self-published Trylle Trilogy in a separate deal.
Hats off to Hocking. Seriously, she's still in her 20s, and that's fantastic news for her--though I think aspiring writers should take this news with the understanding that Hocking's success doesn't mean self-publishing is a gold mine. There's been a trend lately wherein the self-publishing advocates point to things like this and call traditional publishing dead. But there's a reason events like this warrant news coverage: They're so damn rare.
And what did Hocking do with her success? Leverage it into a traditional publishing deal.
Still, it shows that a writer with the right kind of material, good outreach and a giant pile of luck can sell just as many books as Stephenie Meyer. So, yes, despite my warnings of caution, the playing field is indeed a bit more level.
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